“They represent an innovative system of rural construction in harmony with nature and dedicated to leisure, the arts and knowledge,” UNESCO said as the news was announced yesterday.
“The villas embody an innovative form and function, a new type of princely residence that differed from both the farms owned by rich Florentines of the period and from the military might of baronial castles.”
The sites honoured by UNESCO include the Medici villa in Fiesole and the Boboli Gardens in Florence.
Spokesperson for Boboli, Marco Ferri, told The Local the news was hugely important. “They had great love for the garden,” he says of the Medici family, whom he said transformed the garden with plants, fruits and trees.
The Medici sites granted UNESCO status were built between the 15th and 17th centuries and are a reflection of the family’s unparalleled wealth. The family also had great political power and established Florence as the commercial and artistic centre of Europe.